Mayor, DOT Pledge to End Ped Fatalities

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We’re only three days into the new administration, but it looks like one really big change is in the works for Brooklyn: Safer streets for pedestrians. As you may recall, the shocking deaths of several children hit by cars near the end of the year in Fort Greene, Park Slope and other neighborhoods galvanized a movement to increase pedestrian safety in the borough. Activists attended the inauguration, where newly appointed DOT chief Polly Trottenberg said pedestrian safety is top of her to-do list, reported the Brooklyn Paper.

When de Blasio was campaigning, he promised to create more 20-mile-an-hour zones, improve at least 50 dangerous intersections and areas, and “prioritize traffic enforcement.” Above, traffic along 4th Avenue.

We think these things would go a long way toward ending these senseless, unnecessary and totally unacceptable pedestrian deaths. Perhaps New York should also consider changing the law to give pedestrians the right of way at all times — in other words, making drivers automatically at fault if they hit a pedestrian. It works in California. What do you think?

Grieving Slope Parents to Hold de Blasio to Promise to End Crash Deaths [Brooklyn Paper]
Trottenberg Meets Parents of Traffic Violence Victims at Inauguration [Streetsblog]
Activists Change Speed Limit Signs in Park Slope to 20 Miles Per Hour [Brownstoner]

6 Comment

  • I think there will always be Ped fatalities regardless if people want to label them senseless or unacceptable. It’s reality. Considering the density of Brooklyn I’m surprised there are not more. Considering how NYC is the J walking Capitol of the world it would be ABSURD to hold the drivers automatically at fault. We have nothing in common with California.
    Last year my girlfriend was driving us home to Bed Stuy. As we neared an intersection with a clear green light I watched with shock as a man began to walk off the curb into our path. All the while he was looking in the OTHER direction with headphones in place and the don’t walk sign for his path blinking. He walked into our passenger side fender and was not injured. A very close call. When I got out and checked on him he believed he had the right of way. Luckily a bystander corrected him and verified my account. So no the drivers should not be found at fault automatically.

  • End all pedestrian fatalities!? An impossible promise.

  • I am a regular driver, bicyclist, and pedestrian in Brooklyn. It seems that pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers can all take blame. Frequently drivers run red lights, go much too fast, and ignore basic safe driving practices. But at the same time, pedestrians cross streets recklessly, as if all cars will magically stop or disappear. Cyclists can be ridiculously careless. But it does seem that enforcement of traffic laws would go a long way to cutting down on at least a third of the problem. When was the last time anyone saw the police pull someone over for running a red light or speeding? Once drivers knew that it was not the wild west, perhaps the situation would improve.

  • Brooklyn people dont even look when they cross a street, i have seen it a billion times.
    and now with cell phones, they really have their heads up their asses.

  • conceded, all commuters violate the law in NYC. I agree that enforcement needs to be prioritized but it should focus on the biggest risks, and as far as I know every single reputable study shows that it is automobile drivers that pose the most risks (to peds, cyclists and other drivers). decreasing speed limits will help, because then (allegedly inevitable) accidents will be less likely to result in serious injuries and fatalities, no matter who is at fault when they happen. there’s no reason why traffic regulation shouldn’t be like every other regulatory scheme, which takes into account the relative risks of certain activities and attempts to pre-emptively limit the likely cost of failure.